This has always been my challenge and my desire. When I am successful, amazing growth, understanding, acceptance happen.
Getting off that mouse wheel of Life is the struggle.
Then again, sometimes I’m so worried I won’t like the answer that I intentionally practice avoidance.
Like right now… I know job applications should be top of my list, but it’s scary putting myself “out there” and easy to laze in the “status quo.”
My boundaries have improved and I’ve been granted 2 days off instead of one. (It’s taken 2.5 years and a serious bout of burnout). Now, instead of moving toward the NEW I’m languishing in the FAMILIAR.
I see this quote in two parts: willingness to step outside my comfort zone AND willingness to be quiet with myself to hear the answer to the question, “What is my next step?”
Not sure where everyone is with the holidays this year, but I’ve been struggling.
Two Fun Day were: December 3, The Annual Lamplight Stroll in Milford, CT with a great friend. This same friend brought the Holiday Spirit to my house today (December19).
God Bless good friends. They invite you to fun things and their excitement is so infectious, it rubs off and you get out of your way despite yourself!
I was so not in the mood to socialize… but I made myself go. The Lamplight Stroll night was so fun!
Shops were open late, the Town Green was lit up like a magical wonderland, with vendors hocking homemade wares. There were Carolers and sleigh rides (we did not partake). We were FREEZING! And we were LAUGHING!
We stopped in at a local restaurant for appetizers and dessert. We talked for hours. I stayed out WAAAY past my usual bedtime 😉. It was the most fun I’ve had with a friend in over a year.
Today’s fun: Gingerbread cookies, tea, a fire, painting rocks (painting!), Christmas music and hot cocoa.
My friend has been painting rocks for several years. Her rocks (pictures below) are spectacular! She is so talented with the tiny details!
So this is probably only the second time I’ve tried painting rocks. I decided to let go of expectations and just have fun with it.. no comparing myself to my friend and her superior skills. Just FUN!
My results are below. I’m pretty proud of my efforts.
Most important, we were RELAXED. We had FUN, we LAUGHED. We SANG along to Christmas songs. We sipped Hot Cocoa by the fire and gushed compliments on 16 for her cocoa-making skills.
I feel happy and relaxed. That’s not something I’ve felt often of late. I want to wallow in it. Roll around and cover myself with this happy, content feeling and ride it straight through the New Year!
The TRUTH is… at 3-years-old (2008), little Miss was Hell On Wheels. She tested EVERYTHING. The day this picture was taken, we had a 4-hour Showdown over cleaning up a mess.
There have been many moments I thought “I can’t do this, be the Mom she needs.” At 16-years-old (2021),I still sometimes feel the same way.
Still, it’s been an beautiful journey. I’m so proud to be THIS GIRL’S mom.
We guarded her childhood like we were on a MISSION. That Mission: for her to be a child for as long as possible.
2020 kinda blew that out of the water. Being bombarded with so much stuff and all of us “hanging on” for dear life. It seems like this almost 2 years have gone in Fast-Slow-Motion.
All of the sudden she’s 16, a Junior in High School, and one foot out the door to “Real Life.”
We’re now talking College and careers and all sorts of grownup things. She’ll be 17 soon, then I’ll BLINK and she’ll be 18 and heading off into The World.
GAHHH! Some days I really do want to go back to 3. It’s sounds crazy even as I say it… because 3 was HAIR-RAISING! But the challenges were smaller.
Today I worry:
Did I teach her enough?
Is she going to be ready for the things life throws her way?
Am I going to be ready to give her up to… LIFE?
As much as “people” like to wax poetic about “Enjoy Every Moment” parenthood is a non-stop Rollercoaster Ride: sometimes exhilarating, often terrifying, full of laughter and tears, a ride that ends at 18.
Of course, you NEVER stop being a parent, but the job is very different. You’re on the sidelines not in the event.
As someone who’s childhood was not protected, who “grew up” WAY too young, I am glad that my daughter has had the childhood I couldn’t have: carefree, play dates and imagination run amok.
I love the young woman she’s becoming and the evolution of our relationship. I also love reminiscing about play-do and dress up, glitter everywhere and slime, the excitement of “Firsts.”
I’m doing it! One step at a time. Sometimes I falter. Sometimes I backslide. Sometimes I’m completely successful and walk away… knowing I will be ok.
This lesson of “I am Enough” is a hard one to learn when I’ve spent a lifetime pleasing others to gain acceptance and love.
Today, I do have unconditional love in my life from the people most important to me.
STILL, I haven’t completely put to rest those voices of my childhood that told me through repeated actions, inactions, verbal and nonverbal cues that I had to earn love, earn attention, earn worthiness.
If anyone feels this way now or has struggled with it in the past, my heart goes out to YOU.
YOU are Enough!
YOU are worthy of the life you want.
You are worthy of the love you want.
You are worthy of the career you want.
Whatever you can dream, you are enough for it!
We are always a “Work in Progress” and at the same time ENOUGH.
We are Enough to meet that challenge that scares us.
We are Enough to take that opportunity we secretly tell ourselves we don’t deserve.
We are Enough to be loved flaws and all.
We are Enough to walk away from relationships and situations that no longer serve us well.
As I type this, I say these things to myself: A reminder that I AM ENOUGH!
PLEASE! Tell me I’m not the only person who struggles with this conundrum!
What do you do when you want attention?
What if you don’t want to ASK for attention?
We want attention. We want certain kinds of attention. We want others to know what we want without having to ASK.
The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman, deals with this issue from the marriage/relationship aspect. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it. Discovering your “love language” can be a HUGE boost to your relationship. More importantly, knowing your partner’s love language could completely transform the way you communicate with each other.
With friendships, I find this “need” for reciprocal attention, time, or interest much harder to figure out. A lot of MY problems in this area can be attributed to my “people-pleasing” tendencies. This bad habit has blurred the lines and been ineffective in developing reciprocal relationships with others.
So…I reach out to YOU, dear readers, for your experience, expertise, and resources.
HOW do you get your needs met with friendships?
How do you determine: when to stay or walk away?
What traits tell you THIS will be a friendship worth investing in?
I’m looking for honest experience and honest answers, especially if you’ve overcome a “People-Pleaser” personality issue.